Former preacher indicted in child porn investigation - WSMV Channel 4

Former preacher indicted in child porn investigation

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SPARTA, TN (WSMV) -

A former preacher has been arrested on a one count indictment of sexual exploitation of a minor in White County.

According to authorities, Don Burns, former pastor of Central Church of Christ of Sparta, was arrested Tuesday.

"Evidence was presented to a specially-called grand jury by Investigator Chris Isom," said Sheriff Oddie Shoupe. "This was over a five-month investigation by my department along with the help of Detective Carl Sells of the Cookeville Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children Unit."

According to the indictment, Burns is accused of possessing more than 100 images of child pornography between Oct. 18-19, 2012.

The charge is a Class B Felony in the state of Tennessee, according to investigators, and carries a penalty of 8 to 12 years in prison. If convicted, it is a mandatory sentence that must be served in prison without parole, Shoupe said.

"District Attorney General Randy York and I want to note that it is improper for our office to discuss the details of the case at this time, however we both look forward to presenting our case in court," Shoupe added.

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